This column was originally published at Free Press Journal.
This column reflects the thoughts and aspirations of young talent in the advertising industry. Read these workday musings from a media planner on the need for more openness and sharper focus in adland
Winning the consumer’s trust is key
For the longest time, the advertising industry has had a cloud of ambiguity when it comes to the usage of data. People tend to form a negative mindset when they are left to assume how they are being advertised to, how their data is collected or how it is being used. As an industry, we need to increase transparency, educate, and encourage openness. This could help people make informed decisions as to how their data is used and how it does or does not benefit them.
For example, iOS users have a choice. They can choose if they want to be tracked or not. On the flip side, can we look at demystifying a 20 odd-page terms and conditions into a simple snapshot that helps users understand how their data will be used? Because how effective would advertising be without gaining the consumer’s trust?
Keep the creativity alive
We always should reward creativity and innovation before anything else. In the ever-advancing world of big data, AI/ ML or fine-tuning, we might be prone to take lesser risks and miss out on encouraging challenging creative work.
In the post-COVID era, the world has fast-forwarded at a great pace in the history of mankind. While big data helps us design close-to-perfect media strategies, we need to take those risks to stay creative and innovative. We classify our civilization with eras like the Iron age, the industrial revolution, or the age of the Internet. We remember these ages because people took risks and enhanced our lives for the better. This is exactly what we need to be doing to ensure we are future-proofing our business and delivering for the customers of tomorrow.
Focus on the end objective and not the bling
The industry needs to have a stronger focus on the end goal. This doesn't mean cutting spend; rather, it means to be hyper-critical about why you're doing, what it is going to achieve and whether you're investing at the right level to achieve it. We've seen brands do great things with minimal budgets. You don't always need big, weighty budgets to make an impact; you need a big idea that has cultural resonance.
No more ‘one-size-fits-all’ ad campaigns
An era of smaller, personalized ads in campaigns with rather bigger budgets needs to come in. Users respond better to content that is tailored just for them. The best advertisers could do was to display the message “Hello [smartphone_brand] user, buy a new protective cover”.
Now, we are approaching the world where each user gets a unique message: “Hello Aakash, congratulations on your new home! Would you rather be interested to employ the best in-town interior design services?” It’s not about clicks and conversions anymore. How about measuring an emotional response? Eye focus? Heart rate? The tech of tomorrow will gather all sorts of data and we need to start gearing up.
Provide an experience and not just a vanilla ad
As digital CX becomes more prevalent across all industries, customers’ habits and expectations change over time, as well — and brands need to be flexible enough to meet those expectations. Digital experience helps brands drive a ‘connect’ with their consumers and consumers are willing to choose and reward brands that follow through on that promise. Every digital interaction leaves behind traces of contact and every digital point of interaction is crucial, so building customer experience that’s consistent across every digital channel — as well as the physical space — is crucial.
(Aditya Pandit is Associate Director- Media, Carat India)